‘They’re Not Who You Think They Are.’ People Share Their Crazy Double-Life Stories
If you think your life is tiring, imagine living two! As much fun as superheroes make it seem, double-lives aren’t very glamorous in reality. Whether someone is having an affair, undercover, in witness protection, or hiding for even stranger reasons, having two or more identities sounds like a lot of work.
For every double-life, imagine the friends, families, colleagues, and more that are a part of it all. Finding out that someone you’re close to isn’t who they say they are can be frustrating, and dealing with the repercussions of uncovering an individual’s true identity is a massive task that often permanently changes the course of all lives involved.
#25 A Five Child, Two-Family Fiasco
A guy I used to work with. He lived in a small country town with his wife and kids. When he was fired from his job (where I worked), he could only find something at his level in the big city 2 hours away.
So he would go to work in the city from Monday to Friday, and home to his wife and kids on the weekends. This went on for years. It came out about 5 years into the arrangement that he wasn’t living in the small city apartment as he said, he was living with his girlfriend, and their 2 kids!
So he had a wife and 3 kids, and a girlfriend with 2 kids (all his). Apparently, the girlfriend knew about the wife, but the wife had no idea about the girlfriend. And his 3 country kids had 2 younger siblings that they knew nothing about.
#24 Juggling A Triad Of Girlfriends
My parents’ friend has the weirdest double life situation I’ve ever seen.
Paul was married to Clarissa for 12 years, and they had a son together. However, Paul and Clarissa break up, and Paul moves out. Shortly after Paul starts dating Jenny. Shortly after Jenny get’s pregnant Paul realizes he misses Clarissa, and somehow talks Jenny and Clarissa into sharing him. Then, a few years later, Paul adds Renee to the mix. (I should throw in these are decent looking women with jobs, and Paul himself is no rich Adonis either)
So, Paul has a wife and two girlfriends. They each have their own house on the same street, and their own individual family lives. Paul spends the night with a different one each night, and they trade Holidays. The women aren’t romantically involved and they barely interact, so it’s not like a poly relationship or even a Sister Wife deal. How he pulled this off and how they make it work is beyond me, but it’s been years now.
#23 A Local Lying Storyteller
I worked with this guy once who was known for his stories. No matter how loose the connection was, he’d find a way to turn anything into a personal anecdote of a thing he’d seen or done before. All of them were interesting the first time (he’d lived an interesting life – grown up in America, moved to Australia in his early 20s, worked in a lot of really cool places over the years), but it wasn’t long before he started repeating the same stories over and over again. I worked with him for just over three years, so it got pretty ridiculous. We knew how he’d met his wife, all the obscure things he owned, his pets, his kids – we knew every detail of his life.
It became a bit of an inside joke within the office about how the guy never shut up.
Then one day, he didn’t come in. He’d died of a heart attack. The whole office was at a loss, especially our little department (which had about 8 people in it, including him). When it came to his funeral, our little group took the afternoon off and attended. And that’s how we found out, none of his stories were true.
He’d grown up locally, his family wasn’t at all who we thought they were, none of his old jobs had happened… Everything we’d known about him had just been made up.
#22 Manipulating The Military
I served in the Navy from 1985 to 2005. While in my first squadron, from 1985-1989, we were away from home often, either on short detachments of 2-5 weeks or 6-month deployments. During one period when we were at home for awhile, I was on watch in the duty office after hours. Me and another guy just had to man the office, answer the phone, and monitor the guys on watch down in the hangar bay.
Shortly after our watch started we got a phone call from a wife of someone in our squadron. She was asking us when the squadron would be back from detachment. I asked the other guy if he knew about anybody out on detachment, and he just looked at me funny. I told her we didn’t currently have anyone one on detachment. We’ve all been back home for a couple months. She insisted her husband had been out on detachment for 3 weeks and needed to know when he was coming home. I assured her nobody was on detachment and told her I had seen her husband earlier that day at work. She just hung up after that.
Turns out, the guy was telling his wife he was out on detachment and shacking up with his girlfriend for a few weeks. She called the Commanding Officer to find out when her husband had been part of a detachment and found out he’d done it many times over the previous couple years. Infidelity is officially against the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It didn’t turn out well for him.
#21 Ruckus Over A Christmas Receipt
I worked at Victoria Secret for quite a few years. I saw a lot of shady stuff but the worst was an encounter over the holiday season. A guy comes up with some sexy lingerie and some nice flannel pajamas. He asks them to be bagged separately and for separate gift receipts in the bag.
Easy enough for the new cashier I’m training I think so I leave to assign breaks. A few days later he comes back RAGING. Just screaming and cussing everyone out. Turns out the new cashier mixed the gift receipts up. The wife found out about the mistress. There really was no fixing that situation considering the dude was just a jerk in general and I had no desire to make the situation right so I just called security and went about my day.
#20 Smart Kitty Getting Spoiled Twice
Our family cat. I was outside one night and I see my cat walking directly towards my neighbor’s house and then I see their front door open. He walks directly inside like she’d done it a million times.
She was outside quite a bit so we assumed she was outside doing cat stuff. Nope, little kitty was just at home #2.
#19 A Frightening Con Man Roommate
So when I first left home in my late teens I shared a big house (I think 6+ bedrooms) with a close friend, his brother and some other randoms. Think frat house except for no college/university. Splitting the expenses worked out pretty well. So one of the guys worked at a port in customs or something. He had a uniform and ID etc. He left for work at the same time every morning and hung out with us after work. He was always down for attending social events with us and most of us liked him.
Fast forward about a year and he starts telling us about how he can get us discounted TVs and other merchandise from the port. Unclaimed/seized property that apparently no one sweats about if just a few items go astray. Everyone gave it a pass as it seemed sketchy. Then one day we come home to one of our housemates in shock and bawling like a baby.
It turns out not only did he give the guy his life savings he also gave him money borrowed from his dad. The customs guy had said he could get him a new car cheap! The long long con. Turns out the guy doesn’t work at the port, the name he gave us doesn’t exist and we have no idea how he spent his days or came up with his share of the rent/bills. It still creeps me out a little knowing I lived with a stranger for so long.
#18 A “Hunting Trip” To His Second Family
My boyfriend’s sister’s friend was married to this guy and had started a family with him. They just had their second child actually (the first was probably 7-8 years old). Every year he went on a hunting trip to Missouri for about a week. It turns out he wasn’t hunting. He had another family there. Two kids, almost exactly the same ages as the other two. The friend divorced him immediately when she found it.
#17 Identity Theft In World War II
My (the Netherlands) great grandfather’s family had an inkling that no amount of prosperity was worth risking what Hitler was spreading. He took his wife and 4 sons on a boat and settled near the Wisconsin border as skilled carpenters.
My family didn’t realize until nearly 1970 that the house they left in Holland was taken over by a Jewish family that pretended to be my old family. They changed their names and the local Protestant church had them every Sunday and they survived the Holocaust. Has any greater accidental zero effort hero ever happened?
#16 An Insane Voice Act
We had a guy in high school who faked a deep voice for the 7 years we have known him and senior year he revealed that it wasnt his real voice.
#15 A Fake Chicken Butcher
There was one dad in our mother’s group that lost his high flying big city financial job due to a market crash. To pay the bills, and because there were no jobs in finance at the time, he took the first job he could get – in a chicken abattoir. Bit of a change from a desk job to clucking chickens, but when you have a newborn baby and bills to pay you step up.
Every time I ran into him I was always impressed with how much he was up to speed on current events and world news. We would talk about the latest political, financial and scientific news; there was not much discussion about chicken butchering.
Turns out he was fired on his first day. Every day after that – for months – he would leave home in the morning, go to the pub, read newspapers all day, and then go home in the evening.
#14 A School-Aged Kid With No Education
There was this kid at our church who started attending the youth group when he was about 15. Everyone loved him, but he was always a little standoffish. Fast forward 3 years to graduation time. Everyone kept asking him what he planned to do after high school and if he was looking forward to it, but he always changed the subject. Finally, he revealed to one of the adults that he wasn’t graduating because he hasn’t been to school since he was 8 years old. His dad removed him from school and never let him return.
A whole bunch of stuff went down after that, but the church members helped him do a fast-track highschool degree in 3 years and have now paid for him to attend a 4 year university.
#13 Quitting Due To Potential Kidnapping By Foreign Faction
In one of my previous jobs a few years ago, we hired this guy who turned out to be a really good partner, worked hard, never complained. After about a year and a half of working with him, I get called into the office. He’s there with the manager, assistant manager and two beefy guys in normal clothes with the exception of ear pieces.
He wanted to say goodbye to the bosses and I and explain why he had to leave the company. Turned out he was the son of some leader in his country and they had to relocate him, an opposing faction found out he was in our state and would have kidnapped him for leverage.
#12 Skillfully Hiding A Family Overseas
My grandfather was in a romantic relationship with another man across the country for a few decades. My entire family knew about it, so it was no big deal… or so we thought.
Just last October, my grandfather died. We went to call his partner, and he was very surprised to learn that my grandfather had children. It’s amazing how he hid an entire family for decades.
#11 Percieved Christian And Practicing Satanist
My mom’s a practicing Luciferian/Satanist but my upbringing seemed very normal and mostly absent of strict religious practice.
We celebrated Christmas and Easter, we owned a Bible (and a Quran, and a couple of other religious texts), I did scripture class at school, and I was even in a nativity play when I was five. She was really nice to my friends, had a good job, and volunteered for an animal charity and at a domestic violence center. The domestic violence center was run by a Baptist Church and she was well liked by the community. But behind the scenes… yeah, she was and still is really big into Satanism.
#10 Terrified To Come Out
My aunt didn’t come out as a lesbian until she was in her mid 40s. Coming from a pretty traditional Mexican family she was scared that nobody would accept her for who she was, so she hid and lived this double life for the longest time. When she finally came out it caught everyone by surprise, but everyone was extremely supportive of her.
#9 Posing As A Exchange Student To Case Out America
My family hosted a number of exchange students while we were growing up. We hosted about 7 high school students over the course of my childhood; each stayed for a year in our house, attended high school in our town etc. One girl, Irinia, from Turkey, came to us no differently than any of the other students had – through the AFS program. To be an student through AFS meant you had to fill out an application, be 17-18 yrs old, be attending high school in your home country, whatever.
So Irina arrives as our exchange student. She goes to high school in our small home town on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. But at Christmas time she says she has to go home to Turkey because her mother was extremely sick. Going home during the exchange year is really unusual, really rare. OK fine, she’s going to Turkey for the Christmas break, she’ll be back in January. Except she never comes back. AFS can’t find her, we don’t know where she is, if she made it to Turkey, if she’s hurt, nothing. And we’re terrified because we’re her host family during this year and we always took the students in like family. Anyways she’s gone.
Maybe 3 months later my mom is driving through our tiny town (again, middle of nowhere Cape Cod) and she see Irinia, with what looks like her mom, and some other kids. It turns out Irinia has graduated high school in Turkey already, was like 25 with children and had posed as an exchange student so she could ‘case’ the place before bringing the rest of her family.
#8 Accidentally Revealing An Estranged Brother’s Adoption
A friend’s mother is adopted – no big deal, she knows about it since she was 5 and loved her adoptive mom to bits, so it was never an issue. When she was in her late 20s, she discovered she had a brother which lived in a nearby city (for the Brazilians amongst us, we are all in São Paulo and her brother was living in Santos), so she decided to go after him.
It turns out her brother, who was in his early 30s, did not know he was adopted. He had a fit and even slapped his mom in the face.
#7 A Morbid Dose Of Motivation
There was a 20-something-year-old guy in a nearby town that passed-away, leaving a will that gave a bunch of money to his sister with a note that she couldn’t have it until she graduated from college. At her graduation, the guy shows up and admits that he faked his death and was living overseas. He still gave her the money and helped her open a business with it.
#6 A Fugitive College Counselor
A counselor at my college in Michigan faked his identity for over 40 years. He was a civil rights organizer in San Francisco in the 1960s and ended up in an altercation with the police.
None of the police were injured but he was injured in the foot apparently. He was supposed to appear in court later but he took off, and in the 40+ years following the incident, he earned his masters degree with a whole new identity, ultimately working as a guidance counselor at a community college in Michigan.
His true identity was exposed around 2010 and he went on trial for the incident in California. He was sentenced to a year in jail and about $8,000 in fines.
#5 An “Open Relationship” Catastrophe
My uncle runs a business hooking up internet in hotels. He travels all over the West coast for it. Recently he asked my aunt to have an open relationship. It turns out most of his “business trips” were actually trips to go meet with his business partner, whom he has been having an affair with for the last year or two. This business partner has even had two pregnancies with my uncle. Both were miscarriages, but both were also not intentional.
My aunt and uncle have been married for 12 years, and have a five year old son. My aunt also has terminal cancer. He’s been introducing their son to his mistress as their son’s new Mommy without my aunt’s knowledge.
Needles to say, that open relationship isn’t happening. They’re getting divorced.
#4 Regretting The ‘Live Like You’re Dying’ Mentality
My friend is a divorce attorney, and has a client right now who is a wealthy guy in his 40’s or 50’s. He was told he was terminally ill, so he went and started a relationship with an exotic dancer and got her pregnant. He ended up recovering, and the exotic dancer had the kid. He’s been supporting the exotic dancer and the kid without his family knowing for years. The older guy and his wife are now divorcing and this exotic dancer issue (which the wife still has yet to know about) is making things complicated.
#3 A Spine-Chilling Student Affair
A high school teacher (40 at the time) in my home town was married with kids and decided to run away with one of the sixth form students. Sixth form/college is 16-18 in the UK. Apparently, they’d been seeing each other since she was 15 so it was not legal basically. When the school caught wind, all of his work technology like his laptops and phones were searched. When they found proof, he was removed from the school and put under police watch for a few days whilst the situation died down, because it spread like wildfire. He left his wife and kids, now has a house with her. I believe they’re very happy together, but it’s still a crazy situation.
#2 A Fake Boyfriend Cover For A Real Girlfriend
A friend close to me, who worked with me, had always talked about her boyfriend (let’s call him Dave). She would talk about her evening plans with him, holidays they went on and so on.
Other friends tried to Google him, and search for him on Facebook (out of an morbid curiosity to see what he looked like), but never came up with anything.
Then, one Christmas party she took me outside and told me she was engaged! But that wasn’t the full story. She was actually engaged to Danielle, a woman, and had spent the last few years covering up the fact she was gay by completely fabricating Dave. He had never existed, and all stories and anecdotes were actually about Danielle.
#1 Bank Robbery Business Trips
One of my older brother’ ex-girlfriends dated a guy for 2 years and then out the blue, he got arrested. When the charges came out it turns out this guy had been a bank robber. She told us he would go on business trips and come back and be off for a month or two at a time. She just thought he had a good job that was super flexible. She was wrapped up in her own career and I’m sure her attention to detail was lacking. The guy didn’t flash money around, didn’t do anything that let anyone suspect he was a criminal. He got popped because his brother who was a cop recognized him in a video of one of his bank jobs.